Less expensive options to Light Room and Photoshop?

Started Mar 2, 2013 | Discussions thread
Robgo2 Veteran Member • Posts: 4,855
Re: Less expensive options to Light Room and Photoshop?

MisterBG wrote:

Robgo2 wrote:

dbannerz71 wrote:

Anyone ever try this one?


Distinctive image quality: Photo Ninja is a professional-grade RAW converter that delivers exceptional detail, outstanding image quality, and a distinctive, natural look. If you think this is "just another RAW converter", you're in for a surprise. Photo Ninja is truly special, with unique capabilities for improving and optimizing your digital images. Click on the items below to learn more about this powerful tool, and read why serious photographers are adopting it into their workflows.

I've been thinking about it vs. buying Lightroom. Any thoughts?


Photo Ninja is the best raw convertor currently available, IMO. Lightroom/ACR are not even close in terms of IQ. PN is not loaded with all of the features and tools that LR/ACR and the other behemoth raw convertors are. It just produces the best looking images with very little effort. Download a trial version, request a temporary license, and judge for yourself, but do take the time to gain an understanding of PN's presets and adjustment tools, which are very powerful.


Sorry to disappoint you.
I just trialled Photo Ninja and I can say "Not even close" is a gross overstatement. Almost indistinguishable would be a better description, but for one thing:

The highlight recovery of Lightroom 4.4 is significantly better than Photo Ninja, PN doesn't seem any simpler to use and it costs more too.

You summed it up well when you said "PN is not loaded with all of the features and tools that LR/ACR and the other behemoth raw convertors are."
Quite so, they have all those features and tools for a reason...

(This comes to you from someone who generally loathes Adobe)

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>The only way of discovering the limits of the possible is to venture a little way past them into the impossible.


I would suggest that you spend more time familiarizing yourself with Photo Ninja. It took me about one week to grasp its structure and flow--not that it is difficult to use, just that it is different from other raw convertors. The time spent was well worth it for me. Learning the presets is essential, as they give you the starting point for editing an image. As for highlight recovery, PN is far superior to any program that I have ever used, and this is also the opinion of many other PN converts. I have run numerous head to head comparisons with the latest versions of ACR and Capture One, and I will repeat what I said previously--it isn't close. I am not saying that other programs are not capable of delivering good results. They are, but in comparison to PN, they are now lagging behind. If you do not agree after practicing with PN for a reasonable period of time, then so be it.

Photo Ninja is not a full featured image editing program, although it has some very powerful tools. Its developers (all two of them) have placed their emphasis on image quality rather than features at this stage. For local adjustments, printing, cataloging etc, you will need other programs. I use Photo Mechanic for file management and Photoshop for all the rest. Lightroom or Aperture could easily be used in conjunction with PN as well. Those who want an all-in-one editing program will not find it in PN, but those who want the very best IQ currently available will. Software is constantly evolving, and I think that one should not become too attached to any particular program. If something better comes along, be open to it.


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